England (8/11 – Tournament outright) will find out their Euro 2022 final opponents on Wednesday night when the second semi-final between Germany and France takes place in Milton Keynes.
The Lionesses’ stunning 4-0 win over Sweden on Tuesday sealed their place in Sunday’s final at Wembley and now boss Sarina Wiegman and her squad can watch on to see who will stand in their way when they hope to win their first major trophy on home soil.
It’s been a brilliant tournament for the hosts so far and they maintained their superb form with a dominant display over Sweden, who are ranked second in the world, at Bramall Lane in the last four.
After surviving some early scares, Wiegman’s side grew into the tie and went in front through Beth Mead, notching her sixth goal of the tournament so far, before Lucy Bronze made it 2-0.
Substitute Alessia Russo produced the moment of the match when her cheeky backheel made it 3-0 in the second half, before Fran Kirby sealed the rout late on.
It means England Women are in their first major tournament final since 2009, when they lost 6-2 in the Euros to Germany, after they made it 11 victories on the spin and extended their overall unbeaten record to 19 matches.
“Again, the team found a way,” a delighted Wiegman said afterwards. “We were struggling a little by the way they played defensively but we did better and better.
“The players on the pitch found solutions and when we scored it obviously helped a lot.
“I have confidence in this team and in our players to stay calm, stick to the plan. We have spoken about all the scenarios.”
There is one more hurdle for England to overcome, though, and whoever prevails from Wednesday’s second semi-final between Germany (4/5 – To qualify) and France (10/11 – To qualify) are likely to provide a big test for the Lionesses on Sunday.
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Germany have won all four of their matches in the tournament to nil, scoring 11 goals in the process.
France, who are ranked third in the world, two places above Wednesday’s opponents and five above England, have won three of their four games and beat reigning European champions Netherlands in the last eight.
Winger Klara Buhl, who has started all four games for Germany so far, will miss the semi after testing positive for Covid-19, while France could bring in Clara Mateo or Ouleymata Sarr up front as they attempt to make their first-ever European Championship final against the country who have won the tournament a record eight times.
France boss Corinne Diacre is aware her side have already made history in reaching the semis but she says everyone in the camp is hungry for more.
She said: “We have reached a milestone but it’s not at the end. We really want to play this final and our ambition was to play on July 31. Now we still have an important game to tackle.
“We want to build history. The players and staff want to write our story now and we still have a little way to go. I’m very proud because this team aimed at a big target; this team gives absolutely everything.”
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